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Progress in Hamilton

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Niagara GO trains still bypass Hamilton in 2018

Seasonal GO train service to Niagara is set to start up again for the season, but like the last several years, these GO trains will not stop in Hamilton.

The West Harbour GO Station opened in the summer of 2015 for the Pan Am Games. The station initially opened in a partially finished position with much of the landscaping unfinished, some of the interiors not quite finished, and the parking facilities still under construction. Since then the station has been completed and is serviced by morning and peak trains on weekdays.

2017 promotional map for the Niagara seasonal GO Train service with Hamilton notably missing.

2018 promotional map for the Niagara seasonal GO Train service with Hamilton notably missing.

Possible CP strike action could disrupt GO train service to Hamilton GO Centre

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GO Transit has advised of a potential service disruption of train service to Hamilton in the coming days.

Canadian Pacific Rail labour unions are in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 21st, which may impact some GO train services. While GO is hopeful that an agreement can be reached, the regional transit agency has plans in place if a strike occurs.

Since CP owns a section of corridor leading into Hamilton GO Centre, train service to and from this station would not be provided due to CP’s available staff resources. Regular GO bus service will continue and extra Route 18 GO buses will run between Hamilton GO Centre and Aldershot GO Station to connect to regular Lakeshore West train service.

The argument could be made that this would be the perfect time to run extra trains to the new West Harbour GO Station, which only sees two inbound and outbound trains each weekday. This could pose a logistical difficulty as the Hamilton GO Yard, where GO trains which service the Hamilton GO Centre park overnight, is also in this section of CP owned corridor.

More to come.

Ticket Vending machines at Hamilton GO being upgraded with PRESTO

HSR 1013 in a Presto full wrap

Starting tomorrow, Tuesday March 27th, and over the next few days, Metrolinx will be upgrading the ticket vending machines at the Hamilton GO Centre. After the upgrades you will br able to instantly load your card, check account information or buy a PRESTO card.

One machine will be upgraded each day, so during this time you can use another ticket vending machine, or visit a GO counter to buy your ticket or load your PRESTO card.

The upgraded ticket vending machines are already available at the West Harbour GO Station and McMaster University Bus Terminal in Hamilton.

2018 Holiday Service Schedule for Easter Weekend

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As a reminder, the Hamilton Street Railway will be operating on a holiday schedule for the Good Friday on March 30th. On this date many routes will be operating with reduced frequencies while some routes will not be operating at all. The HSR will be operating on a regular Sunday schedule on Sunday April 1st for Easter Sunday and will be operating on a regular weekday schedule on Easter Monday, April 2nd.

The following routes will not be in service on Good Friday or Easter Sunday:

GO Transit schedule changes effective April 7th

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GO Transit is adjusting some of their schedules effective April 7th, 2018. The changes include additional trips on the LAKESHORE WEST rail line, however there are no additional trains being added to either the Hamilton GO Centre or West Harbour GO Station.

Here are the changes which start on Saturday, April 7th.

HSR launching new automated Twitter account: @HSRnow

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The City of Hamilton and the HSR announced on Monday that a new automated Twitter account will launch on Wednesday. This new account will be the outlet for service alerts for the transit agency.

The format for the new automated account is similar to that of the Hamilton Fire Department which also sends out automated alerts from dispatch over Twitter through the account @HFD_Incidents.

_20180320_073835The move is a step in the right direction for the transit agency, which has been beleaguered with issues of missing and cancelled buses in light of a manpower shortage. The automation of the new @HSRnow account should also alleviate some of the workload of the person responsible for social media to focus on customer service and not a steady stream of bus cancellations and updates.

The news also comes days after it was revealed that @HSR had blocked at least one citizen run Twitter account, which met with some backlash. The account was later unblocked without explanation.

While the account description for @HSRnow states that the account is not monitored, hopefully every automated tweet is tagged with @HSR. People will invariably reply to these service alerts and doing so will allow @HSR to be notified of replies.

@HSRnow launches on Wednesday.

Opinion: Half shelters are no shelter at all

Photo by Jason Nason

New shelter at Hamilton GO Centre Platform 18 | Photo by Jason Nason

Just before Hamilton felt the full force of winter the HSR transit shelters were removed from the Hamilton GO Centre. The shelters were for HSR service on Platform 18 and left the stop without any shelter for nearly three months.

While the timing of the removal and resulting sidewalk work was dubious at best, a large brand new shelter was installed in late February. In fact the new shelter is one of the new “B-LINE” style shelters which have been installed strategically along the 10 B-LINE EXPRESS and 20 A-LINE EXPRESS routes, as well as at the Mountain Transit Centre and the Mohawk College Transit Terminal.

The only problem with the new shelter is that it’s only a half-shelter.

Notice: Holiday Service Monday for Family Day

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As a reminder, the Hamilton Street Railway will be operating on a holiday schedule for Family Day this Monday. On this date many routes will be operating with reduced frequencies while some routes will not be operating at all.

The following routes will not be in service Monday:

HSR offers extended New Year’s Eve service; free after 6:00 PM

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The City of Hamilton has released their New Year’s Eve schedule for this year, which includes special extended service to many routes. Most routes have service departing the downtown core at around 2:30am.

This year New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday, which means that several routes will not be in operation during the day.

2017 Christmas Day Schedule

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The City of Hamilton has released the holiday schedule for this year including special service on Christmas Day, which falls on a Monday this year. The Christmas Day schedule for 2017 is exactly the same as it was one year ago with all routes operating on the same schedule as they did in 2016.

As with all holidays, several routes will not be in service on Christmas Day. These include:

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Generally transit service will be reduced on Christmas Day with many routes starting later than usual and all routes ending earlier than on a typical night. Bus service will end earlier than the regular Sunday/Holiday service.

Aside from the following exceptions, the last bus departing downtown Hamilton on Christmas Day will be at 9:00pm. The following are the exception routes and their final departures.

3 CANNONHAMILTON GO CENTRE – Final Departure: 4:00pm
5 DELAWARE (STONEY CREEK) – MAIN at MACNAB – Final Departure: 4:00pm
5(A) DELAWARE (ROSEDALE) – MAIN at MACNAB – Final Departure: 8:30pm
5(C) DELAWARE (MEADOWLANDS) – KING at JAMES – Final Departure: 8:30pm
5(2) DELAWARE (GOVERNORS) – KING at JAMES – Final Departure: 3:00pm
7 LOCKE – JAMES opposite KING WILLIAM – Final Departure: 8:40pm
8 YORK – JAMES at MAIN – Final Departure: 8:20pm

11 PARKDALE – VALLEY PARK LOOP – Final Departure: 8:15 PM
11 PARKDALE – BURLINGTON BUS TERMINAL – Final Departure: 9:05 PM
24 UPPER SHERMAN – MACNAB TRANSIT TERMINAL – Final Departure: 8:30pm
26 UPPER WELLINGTON – MACNAB TRANSIT TERMINAL – Final Departure: 8:30pm

41 MOHAWK (WB) – GAGE at INDUSTRIAL – Final Departure: 9:29pm
41 MOHAWK (EB) – MEADOWLANDS TERMINAL – 8:47pm
43 STONE CHURCH (EB) – MARTINDALE at GOLFLINKS – Final Departure: 9:05 PM
43 STONE CHURCH (WB) – HIGHLAND at AUBREY – Final Departure: 9:05 PM
44 RYMAL (EB) – ANCASTER BUSINESS PARK – Final Departure: 9:00 PM
44 RYMAL (WB) – EASTGATE TRANSIT TERMINAL – 9:00 PM
55 STONEY CREEK CENTRALEASTGATE TRANSIT TERMINAL – 5:27pm
56 CENTENNIAL – EASTGATE TRANSIT TERMINAL – 5:30pm
58 STONEY CREEK LOCAL – EASTGATE TRANSIT TERMINAL – 5:00pm

The actual timetables for the routes are listed below. You can click and save the full page with all of the timetables at the bottom.